The past few weeks I checked out top of the range Mercedes-Benz S-Class: the S600. Last week it was the W221 and the week before that it was the W220. Naturally, I thought it would be a good idea to seek out the first S-Class with a V12, the W140. Little did I know, a reader passed along not only a W140 S600, but one with much than what you are used to normally seeing.
This car is none other than a S70 AMG. It started out life as a standard S600 then was sent to the crazy folks at AMG Japan where it was converted from a 6.0 liter to a 7.0 liter. On top of that, they added front and rear AMG bumpers, some AMG wheels and enough wood for the interior to wipe out a small forest. It is in every way the most ultimate factory W140. (Well, maybe other than the S72 AMG) Just when I thought I had the whole story of this car, it got even crazier. You might notice that despite this car being listed on New Jersey’s Craigslist, it is still located in the (country of) Georgia. Does anyone remember a certain BMW E34 M5 from there? I promise this will all make sense. Just stick with me.
Some people like to upgrade their cars with aftermarket parts or parts from other vehicles from the same manufacturer. Usually it’s a small part or maybe a set of wheels that satisfies their itch. Other people go a little bigger with maybe custom body work and paint. Then way on another level, we have what was done with this 1997 Mercedes-Benz S600 in Russia. It’s impressive enough to have a Mercedes tweaked by legendary tuner Brabus, that this car is, but it’s a whole other ball of wax once you see what is hiding inside this car and the special surprise hiding in the trunk. Here is a hint: It isn’t subwoofers.
Last week I checked out a great SL73 AMG which the mad men at AMG took an already hearty 6.0 liter V12 and converted it to a 7.3 liter. Today we have another 7.3 liter 140 chassis, although this one was converted by another tuning house. This 1997 CL600 for sale in Hamburg, Germany was sent to well-known Brabus where it not only underwent the conversion to 7.3 liters, but gained some body work, wheels and giant brakes as well. Because of all this, the price tag steep. But you probably won’t believe how steep it really is.
The mighty Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG: A car that can’t be mentioned without saying the word ”Zonda” in the same sentence. Less than 100 of these monsters started life as a regular SL600 with the M120 6.0 liter V12 and were shipped up to the AMG factory for some special touches and an increased displacement to 7.3 liters good for over 540 horsepower. The eponymous 7.3 liters were so good that they made their way in the Pagani Zonda and the rest was history. With so few of these cars made, if they ever come up for sale, they usually don’t go for cheap nor stay for sale long. Now that this 1999 is available for sale in California, it’s time to take a close look at this thing while we can.
The W140 S600, in my opinion, is one of those ‘best friend or worst nightmare’ kind of cars. A wonderful example is almost pure bliss but if you end up with a neglected one, you’ll soon be searching the classifieds for a nice Toyota Corolla. Unlike its younger sibling W220 S600, the M120 V12 in the W140 is a great example of a twelve cylinder engine. It’s extremely smooth, makes great power and doesn’t have any real fatal flaws. It’s just everything around it that can be troublesome at times. Throttle actuators, EGAS modules, coolant pipes, breather pipes on top of everything else that normally goes wrong with a 90s Mercedes, will drive you nuts. The thing is, you really have to love the W140 to justify owning one. This isn’t a half-hearted car that you can drive and forget about. Even if you have no interest in maintaining this car by yourself, you really should have someone who knows the M120 look after it as most general mechanics usually don’t have the knowledge and experience to tackle problems as they arise. If you are one of those crazed W140 fans that has been looking for a prime S600, this 1997 in New York might fit the bill.
Engine: 6.0 liter V12
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 90,000 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction
1997 MERCEDES BENZ S- CLASS S600 V12 W140 IN PRESTINE CONDITION. MERCENDS BENZ FLAGSHIP VEHICLE WITH LOW MILES ONLY 90,000 ORIGINAL MILES.
BLACK ON BLACK BEST COLOR COMBINATION. I HAVE OWNED THIS VEHICLE SINCE 2013 THIS IS MY FOURTH S600 YOU WILL NO BE DISAPPOINTED, ADULT DRIVEN,GARAGE KEPT, MERCEDES BENZ SPECIALIZED MAINTAINED. WILL NOT BE DISSAPOINTED RECLINING HEATED REAR SEATS, DEFROST EXTERIOR MIRRORS, REAR SHADE, AND VERY RARE OEM 19″ AMG MONOBLOCK WHEELS.
1993 was a huge year for the Mercedes-Benz SL in North America. For the first time in its 39 year history, the Sportlich-Leicht was being produced with a V12 engine. The 600SL was graced with a massive aluminum block 6.0 liter with forged steel connecting rods that produced nearly 400 horsepower. This was 80 horsepower more than the M119 V8 from the 500SL of the same year. Of course, you paid a premium for the extra four cylinders. The 600SL base MSRP in 1993 was a staggering $120,000 (over $200,000 in 2017 buying power) compared to $98,000 for the 500SL. But in my opinion, you definitely got your moneys worth. These were handsome, practical cars that you could depend on — unlike your friends with V12 Jaguars and Ferraris.
This R129 for sale in Connecticut looks to be a great example of the first year V12 cars and it’s in my favorite color of Spruce Green Metallic. It’s not a perfect example and has a couple minor flaws but most importantly it looks well-cared for because for as stout as the M120 V12 is, it still needs its regular maintenance and repairs.
Engine: 6.0 liter V12
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 75,375 mi
Price: Reserve Auction
This Mercedes Benz 600SL is a future classic that has had extensive restoration work performed. In 1993 when this SL was sold, it represented the pinnacle of luxury and performance, 24 years later this car retains all of its original style and character and is a bargain when you consider the refinement and features that come with this car that originally had an MSRP of over $100,000.
The owner of this 600SL maintained the car flawlessly and invested in cosmetic and mechanical work to keep this car in peak running condition.
Last week I featured a Mercedes with a giant V12. Today’s car is no different — although with a little more factory flavor. This 1998 S70 AMG hails from Norway in case you even needed to outrun a herd of reindeer. But in all seriousness, this W140 is a rare breed. It was, in typical S-Class fashion, a money is no object car. More importantly, this car continued its life like a money is no object car. So let’s take a better look at this world traveler S70 AMG.
Back in 1993, if you hopped down to the local Mercedes-Benz dealer and asked for a 600SL, they’d gladly give to you — in exchange of giving them almost $130,000. If you somehow were dissatisfied with the car in terms of performance, you called up Mercedes super-tuner RENNtech and told them to do their thing with it — in exchange of another $60,000. Now doing some quick math here, we are at a grand total of around $190,000. Keep in mind we are still talking in terms of 1993 money. To put that in perspective, that’s over $316,000 in 2016 dollars. And you thought a drug addiction was expensive! So what did this insane amount of money buy you?